Saiva Siddhantha Mandram Malaysia (1980 – 2005)
(History and Chronicle of Events)
As early as 1976, Sri N.Thiruvasagam was involved with His Holiness Sivaya Subramuniya Swami of Hawaii. He began spreading the teachings of Gurudeva to his close friends and other interested fellow Hindus by distributing pamphlets and brochures on Gurudeva’s teaching. “Lord Ganesha – the Benevolent Deity for Modern Hindu” was the first publication released in Kuala Lumpur on 13th August 1980. Following these events Sri N.Thiruvasagam was motivated to form an organization for the Hindus in Malaysia.
The founding of Saiva Siddhanta Mandram was initiated by a group of sincere dedicated people for the purpose of uplifting and disseminating the teachings of Saivism in Malaysia. Their aim was to promote, propagate, protect and preserve Hinduism in particular Saivism in Malaysia and establish a Hindu society for the future generation. English materials on Hinduism were lacking and thousands of youth were ignorant and unable to read and write in Tamil. This lack of religious understanding caused much social problem among Indian youth in Malaysia.
Therefore a Hindu organization was needed to address this situation. His Holiness Sivaya Subramuniya Swami of Hawaii was consulted and he suggested to name the organization Saiva Siddhanta Mandram, Kuala Lumpur. The first protem committee meeting was held on August 28 1980 at No 46, Jalan Tenggiri Off Jalan Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur comprised of:
Sri M. Pararajasingam (President)
Sri S.Subramaniam (Vice President)
Sri N.Thiruvasagam (General Secretary)
Sri. R Raman (Asst Secretary)
Sri Balasubramaniam (Treasurer)
Sri R.Nadarajah (Asst. Treasurer)
Sri P. L. Sathappan (Member)
Chronicle of Events
2nd January – The first inaugural meeting was held at Vivekananda hall. The Constitution was officially distributed to all members present. It was formally proposed and accepted and submitted to the Registrar of Societies.
24th June – The first activity conducted by Saiva Siddhanta Mandram was an 11-day Course on Hinduism, which helped create awareness in Hinduism. This was the first 11-day Hinduism Course conducted in English in Malaysia.
15th June – SSM became an officially registered organization.
21st August – The First Annual General Meeting was held and attended by 33 members. On the same year, SSM which was operating at Lot No. 6, Jalan 28-B, Kampong Cheras Baru, Cheras, 56100 Kuala Lumpur (resident of N. Thiruvasagam) moved into a rented premises on the 1st floor of Sangeetha Abivirthi Sabha at 32, Jalan Rozario, Off Jln Tun Sambanthan, K.L.
January – For the first time in the History of Saivism in Malaysia, Samaya Diksha (initiation) and the Panchatra Mantra was given to 21 people by Gurudeva Sivaya Subramuniya Swami at the Sri Raja Rajeswary Temple, K.L. A Hindu Library was established with books in English and Tamil.
SSM’s magazine called SIVANERI was officially launched with Dr.S.M. Ponniah as the first editor. Besides that, the year also saw, members participating in a 2-month Hinduism course conducted by Sadhaka Jothi Kathiresan who was sent by Sivaya Subramuniya Swami of Saiva Siddhanta Church in Hawaii. Headed by Sri N.Pathmarajah sixteen participants were selected as teachers and made up the first Council of Teachers.
Trained teachers were sent to centers throughout Malaysia to conduct Basic Hinduism Courses. 1500 students participated.
Five Sub-committees were formed to undertake Mandram’s activities. These committees consist of:
- Religious Committee – to prepare monthly calendar of events and observe all Saivite Hindu auspicious days.
- Education Committee – to conduct religious classes, courses, competitions and contests for children and adults (such as Thevaram, Thiruvasagam & Tamil language).
- Finance – to handle Mandram’s financial matters and conduct fund-raising programs for mandram’s activities.
- Women’s Section – to encompass the potentials of all women members and utilize their support in all mandram’s activities.
- Men’s Section – to arrange programs such as organizing Yatras to temples and religious places.
From 1981 to 1986, Saiva Siddhanta Mandram printed and published the following books of Gurudeva:
- Lord Ganesha – the benevolent deity of the modern Hindu world
- Book 2 (Sadhana Book)
- Love of Devotions to the Gods
- Hinduism the Greatest religion in the world (Tamil and English)
- Creed for Saivite Hindus
- The Mediator
- 108 Lord Shiva’s cosmic dance poster with calendar
- Pocket size calendars
- New year Greeting cards
- Deepavali Greeting cards
- Conversion and Problems Faced by the Hindus
15th – 16th November – Dharumapuram Adheenam of Tamil Nadu held The 2nd International Saiva Siddhanta Conference in Kuala Lumpur. SSM organized an exhibition at this event.
After the separtion of the Mandram from Church, SSM’s education sub-committee developed its own syllabus for the Basic Hinduism Course
The first Senior Sadhana Camp was organized and attended by 35 students from University Kebangsaan Malaysia. Later a Hindu Society was formed in UKM with Sri N.Thiruvasagam as their first advisor.
August – SSM organized a cultural programme entitled “World of Sarees”
At the 5th Annual General Meeting SSM members decided to rename the Mandram to Saiva Siddhanta Mandram, Malaysia to reflect the Mandram’s Malaysian identity.
April – A foster home for boys was established in Kuala Kubu Bharu.
Dr Jeyachandran of Dharmapuram Adheenam, South India in SSMM conducted an Advance Course in Saiva Siddhanta. About 50 persons attended the course.
December – The orphanage home for boys moved to Taman Permata, Ulu Klang. In 1989 SSM took a bank loan to purchase this place for RM125, 000. At their AGM the Management Committee decided to name the home Anbu Illam. The first warden of the home was Madam. Danaletchmy
Three fund raising programs were organized to raise funds to repay the bank loan taken for the purchase of the home for boys. These programs were Cultural Show (Bharatha Natayam) by the Sri Kandasamy family, Fashion show by Sangeetha Abirvithi Sabha old students association and A Chinese Vegetarian dinner by students of Basic Hinduism Class. A Food and Fun Fair and two Bazaar Ria sales were organized by Sri Kangatharan and his group of volunteers to help SSMM in their fund raising efforts.
Sri Kartigesu, a former student started a Basic Course in Hinduism in Ipoh, which was well received by the Hindu community in Ipoh.
September and October – Dr C.Balu of Annamalai University was invited by SSMM to conduct a two month lecture on Saivism in Malaysia. Classes were held in Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh. One hundred people completed the course and were issued with certificates.
Kumari Manonmaoney of Taman Ehsan Kepong donated her house to SSM. She passed away on 25th September 1993 and in November the same year SSMM took possession of the house. Today the home has been turned into girls home named ‘Karunai Illam’
July – SSMM celebrated their 10th Anniversary from Jul 1992 – July 1993. In this event, leaders from various Hindu organizations were selected and awarded the title ‘Siva Thondar’
The students of Basic Hinduism Course year 1990 formed a volunteer group in 1992/1993 to organize three major events to raise funds for SSMM. These events were: Food and Fun Fair, Blood Donation campaign under “A caring Society” theme and Jogathon held on 23th July and 05 August, which raised RM40, 000.
23rd August – First National Hindu Seminar was organized by SSMM. The speakers were Tamil Pandit Thiru Sivagurunatha Pillai, Sri Dr. Deviananyagam (the Head of Temple Architecture of Tangore Tamil University, India) and The General Secretary Sri N Thiruvasagam. The Management apart from honoring some of its members for outstanding services also honored two people with the title “Thondar Thilagam” at this seminar. They are Sri Thiagaraju of Malaysia Hindu Sangam and Sri N Thiruvasagam of Saiva Siddhanta Mandram Malaysia.
September – The 11th Annual General Meeting was held. The President, Sri Pararajasingam stepped down due to health reasons and Sri N Thiruvasagam the General Secretary for ten years was nominated as the new President. During this time SSMM was given notice to vacate the Sangeetha Abirvithi Sabha premise.
SSMM decided to purchase the first floor in a four-storey shop lot facing the main road of No. 83, Jalan Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.
Students of the Hindu Society of University Technology Malaysia (UTM) have been having annual gathering with Anbu Illam’s children as well as donating cash annually.
SSMM have also been organizing Hindu Sadhana Camp’s for children between the ages 9 to 15 years twice yearly during the school holidays.
March – SSMM purchased the shop lot at Jalan Bangsar for RM230, 000 with the help of donors from SSMM. An additional RM10, 000 was spent for renovation work.
Three Swamijee’s from Saivite Adheenams in India attended the Sixth Saiva World Conference in Penang. They visited SSMM and were pleased with its functioning of the Mandram
SSMM Sri Muda Centre was officially established. The branch was renamed as Shah Alam Branch upon registration.
The SSMM Klang Branch was also established.
May – a one-day seminar on Childhood Development was held in SSMM, HQ.
SHIVANJALI I & II was organized to raise fund for SSMM, Klang Centre, The same show was also organized by SSMM, HQ to raise fund for Karunai Illam’s renovation works.
September – Erode Viswanathan from India was at SSMM HQ to give lectures on various topics on Hinduism.
First Thirumanthiram Conference was held in Kuala Lumpur. SSM was involved in bringing The Satguru of Thiruvaavaduthurai Adheenam as the guest of Honor for the conference. Satguru Swamiji visited SSM, HQ and Anbu Illam. He announced that SSMM with immediate effect be affiliated to Thiruvaavaduthurai Adheenam.
September – The 2nd National Seminar on Saivisim was held. A total of 700 participants attended the three day seminar. SSMM honored members who had contributed their service for more then ten years with a certificate and the title “Siva Thondar.” Members from other Hindu organizations were also honored with the title “Samaya Thondar”.
December – Karunai Illam, a home for girls was opened with one warden and six girls at Taman Kepong.
SSMM organized a half day Home Pooja Course at the Mandram, that was conducted by Sivapoosager Tiru R.Shanmugam of Malaya Arulneri Thirukootam. Forty people participated.
March – The 5th Delegates Conference of SSMM was held at Mandam’s HQ in Kuala Lumpur.
Annual SSMM Gathering was held at Kalamandapan. The newly appointed patron for Anbu Illam and Karunai Illam, Y.B Datuk Anusha, a well-known corporate figure was introduced at this event.
26th to 28th September – Saiva Siddhanta Mandram Malaysia organized the 9th World Saiva Conference; it hosted 250 foreign delegates and 600 local delegates. The Conference was Mandram’s greatest achievement.
7th February – Bro. Karl Vadivella Bell, International Hindu author and a Murugan devotee from Australia was in Malaysia for Thaipusam. SSMM invited him to give a talk at Mandram. There was encouraging response from members and the public.
8th February – SSMM held its annual Maha Sivarathri prayers for the first time at the Sri Aathipuraeeshwarar Temple in Jalan Ang Seng, Brickfieds.
April to May – Sri Chandrasekhar from India conducted Meditation and breathing techniques classes at SSMM HQ and Shah Alam Branch.
17th May to 23rd May – A series of talks by Dr. N. Murali, a visiting speaker from India was organized by SSMM at its HQ. He spoke on subjects ranging from culture, religion and language.
27th July – SSMM Supreme Council Executives made a courtesy call to Malaysia Hindu Sangam HQ.
14th August – SSMM held its Annual Gathering for members, well wishers, donors, and volunteers at Kalamandapam, Jln Scott, KL.
4th December – Basic Hinduism Course students headed by Mr S. Rajendran, held a get-together dinner at Anbu Illam. Proceeds from the dinner were donated to Anbu Illam and Karunai Illam.
1st February – Indian actor Madhavan of “Alai Payuthe” fame visited Anbu Illam arranged by Sri Sakthi Vinayagar Temple. The children and guests were treated to a special meal arranged y the actor and his friends. He also contributed a donation towards Anbu Illam.
6th June to 10th June – 5-day lecture by His Holiness Swami Thavayogi Gnanadeva Barathi of Gnanadeva Peedam, South India was held at SSMM, HQ. His Holiness delivered lectures on Pranayama (Breathing Technique), Natural Diet and Healthy Life, Life & Materialistic World, Greatness of Saiva Siddhanta and Philosophy of Panchacharam.
13th June to 15th June – another session of His Holiness Swami Thavayogi Gnanadeva Barathi was held at SSMM Shah Alam Branch.
1st August – Sri Sakthivel Murugan from India delivered a talk on Thirumanthiram Uyir Nilai at SSMM, HQ.
11th August – Yoga master Sivasi of Siddha Village delivered a talk on Yoga into Spiritual Way.
31st August – Swamiji Premdass Sevadasani from the Himalayas, who perceives and advocates that “The Sun is a divine being with powers to heal and cleanse” delivered a talk at SSMM, HQ.
1st September – Thirumurai Pannisai Class was introduced for the first time at SSMM, HQ. Dr. M. Balatharmalinga conducted the classes every Thursday.
26th to 28th September – A 3-day talk by Sri La Sri Somasundaraaa Desiga Gnanasambantha Paramacharya Swamigal from Guru Maha Thirugnanasambathar Aadheenam in Nalur, Sri Lanka was held at SSMM, HQ.
7th September to 8th October – University Tunku Abdul Rahman’s Centre for Extension Education organized a 20 day course on Fundraising and Communication at its centre in PJ. Mr P.Nadarajah attended the course on behalf of SSM.
Compiled by Tamilarasi Arumugam for SSMM.